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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Long Time Roosevelt Island Resident Sabino Sierra Passed Away Last Evening - A True Gentleman, Condolences To Family & Friends

Long time Roosevelt Island resident Sabino Sierra passed away last evening.  Mr Sierra was married to his wife, Pilar, for 72 years. They  lived in Eastwood/Roosevelt Landing for 42 years.

Mr. Sierra was described as:

A True Gentleman
A Viewing will be held Friday evening, June 22 at Quinn Funeral Home, 35-20 Broadway, Long Island City from 4- 8 PM. A Funeral Mass will be held 9:30 Saturday Morning June 23 at St Ignatius Church 84th Street and Park Avenue.

Condolences to Mr Sierra's family and friends.

RIOC Updates On Roosevelt Island Infrastructure Repair Projects - Helix Ramp, Tram Station Platform, Tram Elevators, Seawall, Blackwell House & Playgrounds

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson updates us on current Roosevelt Island infrastructure projects. According to Mr. Robertson:

There is very little available, or unaccounted for, space left on Roosevelt Island’s 147 acres to build new infrastructure. But there’s a big need to maintain its existing infrastructure and keep it updated for the next 50 years.

The reality though is RI’s infrastructure maintenance is often costly, time-consuming and considered a disruptive inconvenience to residents, business owners and even tourists and visitors who live, work and flock here in growing annual numbers. But the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) believes maintenance’s long-term benefits trump the short-term inconveniences

Last year, RIOC embarked on a robust five-year capital improvement plan. Some of those initial projects now are close to completion. Below, we’ll update the status of those, revisit the progress of others and maybe introduce you to more plans of which you might have been unaware.

The Helix Ramp: This road construction repair job began in February and during early demolition and preparation the structure was found to be in a more severe state of disrepair than previously thought. In May, the contractors and project managers extended the project scope and timeline for completion. The two-lane spiral roadway and adjacent plaza will now re-open to traffic on July 3. There will be intermittent disruptions to two way traffic to complete installation of new guardrails as well as expansion joint material along the lower ramp of the helix.

The deteriorating Roosevelt Island seawall railings that run along the majority of the Island’s shoreline about 3.5 miles in length are being replaced with new anti-corrosive steel railings. The $8.7 million project is being completed by Elit Green Builders Corporation which so far has completed about a third of the project around the southern end of the Island. Work is expected to continue through December 2018.

The Tram Station platform construction, a project that began May 16 and was scheduled to last 30 days, has been delayed by inclement weather. The construction work along with the re-installation of MetroCard vending machines should be completed by the end of June. Both cabins of the Tram will return to service at that time.

Tram Station Elevator: A $6.1 million construction project to upgrade the Manhattan Tram Station elevator started this week and the two building phases will be finished by late Spring 2019. The elevator project, at 59th Street and Second Avenue, calls for an iconic, two-bank, ADA-compliant glass elevator which replaces the existing elevator that has outlasted its expected mechanical life.

The RI Youth Center renovation work is now in the proposal bid process. Once a contractor is selected this summer, the work will last up to three months. The youth center programs will be relocated to the Sportspark during the construction period.

Blackwell House Renovation is a full structural refurbishment of the original farmhouse home of the Blackwell family, one of the early owners and inhabitants of what is now known as Roosevelt Island. The outside porch and entire interior, of the home built in 1796, has been totally gutted and new floors, walls, support beams, stairways, and code-compliant HAVC systems are being installed. The house will serve as a community meeting facility and new office for the Roosevelt Island Historical Society and reservoir for all Island and RIOC archives. Current completion date is early fall 2018.

The Al Lewis and Blackwell north playground areas will be getting playground equipment repairs and replacement and new poured in place rubberized play surfaces; work is set to begin later this summer.

Stay tuned for additional updates and news about upcoming projects at Octagon Field, Firefighter’s Field, Motorgate, Southpoint Park and Lighthouse Park.

Wonder Woman Starts Off Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series At Southpoint Park Friday June 22 - Gorgeous East River Waterfront Views, Food Vendors And A Movie

The Roosevelt Island 2018 Outdoor Summer Movie series returns to Southpoint Park this year with the showing of Wonder Woman tomorrow evening.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
“Wonder Woman”, the epic action adventure superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, kicks off the 2018 Roosevelt Island Summer Movie Series at Southpoint Park this Friday, June 22. It’s free admission, and the event includes contests, prizes, food vendors and a 40-foot premium screen.

Festivities begin at 7 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Here's the trailer for Wonder Woman

and the full 2018 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movies Series schedule:
Friday, June 22: Wonder Woman; (rain date June 29)
Friday, July 6: A League of Their Own; (rain date July 13)
Friday, July 20: Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi; (rain date July 27)
Saturday, July 21: The Fifth Element; (rain date July 28)
Friday, August 3: Black Panther; (rain date August 10)
Friday, August 17: A Wrinkle in Time; (rain date August 24)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Island, A Short Film Inspired By Oral History Of Roosevelt Island In 1970-80's Seeking Local Apartment To Shoot Scenes - No Recent Renovations And Older Looking Home Furnishings A Plus

Aimee Schaefer is the Director and co-writer of The Island, a film set on Roosevelt Island. Ms Schaefer is looking for a Roosevelt Island apartment, preferably in Roosevelt Landings,

to shoot scenes for the film. According to Ms Schaefer:
NYU graduate short film in need of 2-3 bedroom apartment with no recent renovations. Aiming for a 1970s-1980s look in terms of the amenities and older looking home furnishings are a plus.

If occupants of the home are not the owners, we will need permission from the management company or landlords in the form of an NYU Location Agreement. Upon negotiation and signing of the location agreement, the location will be insured by NYU’s underwriter for $1 million dollars.

We have a small budget to rent the space and place the occupants in a hotel or air bnb for the week.

Intended dates of filming: one week within the slot of July 6-20th.

Please send one photo of living room and contact information to with LOCATION as subject title.
The film's producer, James Faller adds:
We would prefer something inside ROOSEVELT LANDINGS (formerly Eastwood) but are open to other buildings. The older the inside is the better, we are trying to avoid modern renovations since that will mean less work for our production designer.

That being said we are open to exploring various options outside of our preferences.
Backstage summarizes the film:
NYU thesis short film “The Island." Synopsis: Inspired by the oral histories of Roosevelt Island, NY. This short film delves into lives of a small community in the wake of a young boy gone missing in 1989 NYC. We see this through the young protagonist, Jimmy, as he attempts to enjoy his summer despite carrying a secret larger than himself. Filmmaker says: "This film has been awarded a Spike Lee Fellowship and will tour festivals around the world upon it's completion."
If you are interested, please contact here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CBS Channel 2 News Visits Roosevelt Island And Gets Tour With RIOC Staff - Our Own Little Utopia Says RIOC, People Live Here For The Peace & Quiet

CBS Channel 2 news reporter Elle McLogan toured Roosevelt Island recently and spoke with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chief Operating Officer Shelton Haynes and Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson.

According to Mr. Haynes:

... It's our own little Utopia in the middle of NYC...
Mr Robertson responds to a question of why people choose to live on Roosevelt Island saying:
... For the peace and quiet...
Mr Robertson adds:
... When the island was first developed, there was a lot of concern and thought put into having a place that would be easily accessible to people with disabilities, that would be easily accessible for seniors, people with children, people with different incomes, and people of different cultural and racial backgrounds. That was one of the unique features of the island that a lot of people don’t know [about]. And the people that live here are very proud of that...
Watch the full Channel 2 News Roosevelt Island segment.

Monday, June 18, 2018

NYC First STEM Center Summer Program On Roosevelt Island For Middle School Students - Learn 2 & 3D Design/Fabrication, Laser Cutting, 3D Printers & More

NYC First CEO Michael Zygman reports:

NYC FIRST, one of the largest K-12 STEM education organizations in New York City, runs immersive, hands on robotics and STEM education programs that serve 7,000 students annually. We have been running our programs for nearly 20 years in New York City, and we are proud to have our first STEM Center in the city here on Roosevelt Island.

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity for Roosevelt Islanders that NYC FIRST is hosting this summer at our STEM Center, at 544 Main Street.

We're running three week-long summer courses from July 16 - August 3 for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders at a discounted price of $200 per week due to the generous support of our donors.

This program is a good opportunity for middle school students to learn about 2D and 3D design and fabrication, as well as physical computing, and to have them learn how to use laser cutters and 3D printers, among a range of other equipment at the STEM Center. You can learn more about our Summer Program here:

For questions from anyone who is interested, please feel free to email us at
Click here for more info on NYC First STEM Center which will be moving from current temporary location at 544 Main Street to the Cornell Tech campus in September.

Also, NYC First is:
... seeking Mentors to offer guidance to our students during open hours at the Roosevelt Island location. We are specifically looking volunteers who can offer 1-3 hours of their time each week and are regularly available one day a week (Tuesday - Friday) between 4pm and 7pm.

Responsibilities would include helping to monitor the space while offering your skills to help students with personal projects.
Mr. Zygman described the Roosevelt Island NYC First Stem Center during an Open House last January.

Check out NYC First Summer STEM program here.

Here's more on the

First STEM program.